In a deepening commitment to Hispanic, African American and Asian shoppers across the country, Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is revamping 97 of its full-line stores this month to enhance the retail experience for diverse multicultural market segments nationwide. The store makeovers are part of Sears' national pilot program to add and strengthen apparel lines designed specifically for multicultural shoppers, under one roof. The move follows a two-year analysis of customer buying patterns and preferences to determine the brands and products that Hispanic, African American and Asian shoppers want to buy.
As part of the makeovers, Sears is changing its in-store signage and display formats to best reflect its merchandise offering that has crossover appeal and, at the same time, cater to the fashion-conscious, multi-ethnic audience. Sears also plans to increase the level of bilingual associates in top Hispanic communities to improve the overall customer experience for this growing segment. If the pilots are successful, Sears expects to expand its multicultural store concept to additional markets sometime next year.
"Now, multicultural shoppers can enjoy a more customized Sears experience," says Cynthia Maignan, Sears' director of multicultural merchandising. "From the moment the customer walks in the door, she will find up-to-the-minute modern fashions and brands that resonate with her sense of style for each season."
The makeovers benefit Sears stores located in communities that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, average 60 percent for multicultural makeup. Major market areas with multi-ethnic populations, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, will feature Sears' multicultural-focused stores.
As part of the makeovers, new apparel brands and collections are being introduced to complement existing Sears' private label women's apparel collections, which comprise Apostrophe, Covington, First Issue, Lands' End and Lucy Pereda. New apparel brands in misses and special sizes include:
-- A | Line - a casual to career lifestyle brand exclusive to Sears from Jones Apparel Group -- Azucar Bella - soft day into evening dressing for the classic woman -- Curve - comfy, casual, updated active wear exclusive to Sears from Liz Claiborne, Inc. -- Russell Kemp - affordable, attractive career wear and separates.
Overall, the Sears' new fashion floor revamp at these multicultural stores is designed to:
-- showcase popular multicultural designers and brands at Sears -- introduce new multicultural designers, brands and special occasion wear -- amplify the prominence of career-wear lines -- feature year-round apparel that's bright and colorful -- and layer in additional petite and plus size apparel styles.
For a complete list of multicultural Sears stores, visit http://www.searsmedia.com/ .
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,300 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million services calls made annually.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Media, Molly Ireland of RL Public Relations,
+1-310-226-8600; Jessica Priego of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-312-933-1932